Guess who came to my school last night to give us all a little laugh and a half in these stressful times?

Maria Bamford's One-Hour Homemade Christmas Special! from Maria Bamford on Vimeo.


My friend showed me one of her videos three years ago.  I thought she was hi-larious, of course, but as I was walking back home from the show last night, I found out that her comedy is apparently an acquired taste.

"I didn't really understand what she was saying," I heard over and over, from various people.  "But like, that part when she was acting like the stereotypical female comedian?  That was hilarious, I-oh my god, I loved that."

If the only time you laugh at a comedy show is when the performer is acting like a stereotypical comedian, there's a good chance that you are a stereotype, yourself.

That's what I think, anyway.

Really, how could they miss such gems as this:

"Can't change people.  Can't change me.  Cause I'm a gypsy, y'know?  I'm a sea cow.  I know the motorboats are gonna hit me, but this is where I FUCKING SWIM!"

Wise words, Maria.  Wise words.


On Being Judgmental

I've been thinking recently that some of my social anxieties may stem from my Catholic upbringing.  Because WHAT, brothers and sisters, does the Good Book tell us about judgment?  I AM NOT TALKIN' 'bout the DAY of Judgment, when all the souls of the good and the wicked will be judged by the Lord Jesus Christ.  No, my brothers 'n' sisters, I am talkin' 'bout the VERSE in the BI-ble that tells us, "JUDGE NOT!

"Judge not.


I realize that wasn't at all like a Catholic homily, but that sermon was a lot less impressive when uttered in the two-tone, droning mumble of Father Butters that floated over the nodding heads of his sleepy flock: AndtheLordsaidJudgenotlestyebejuuuudged.  

But back to my original point.  I judge people like it's my job, often with the help of my good friend S.  Of course it's good-natured - most of the time - but I think this notion of the reciprocal nature of judgment is still etched onto my mind.  If I am judging other people, then clearly somebody, somewhere, must be judging me.  Eye for an eye, fair's fair, and all that.  So, for every clingy couple or outrageously-dressed person I make snide, under-the-breath comments about, Somebody Somewhere must be snickering to her friends about that one Tracy girl who is really dumb and ugly and thinks she's funny but she's totally not and who also can't do anything good.  It's just a fact of the cosmos.  Probably.

No wonder I'm always worried about what people think of me.  It isn't due to a narcissistic, egotistical obsession based in irrational thought processes; it's just Catholicism!  I can now blame religion for even more of my life's problems.

Technically, it should work the other way, too: the more I feel people judging me and the stupid things I do, the more I can feel free to go ahead and judge them in return!

What a great day.

Image via Read the Spirit.


How Many Words to Fart?

This is RobinWords.  I was told about it while I was chattin' online today, after I finally learned that I can make different groups on Facebook chat so as to be selective in my conversations.  Brilliant!  This means I can have a group for People I Want to Talk to All the Time; Everyone Else; and That Guy From High School Who Keeps Asking Me Whether I've Buzzed My Hair and Dyed it Pink, Even Though I Was Clearly Joking When We Talked About It That One Time in That Class We Had Together.  Now that I don't have to talk to that weirdo ever again - unless maybe he corners me in the grocery store when I go home, perhaps in the deli but maybe in the frozen food section where I can't even look busy reading nutrition facts long enough for him to give up and pass me by, because that would mean I'd be wasting energy and all the ice cream sandwiches and fish sticks would melt because I held the door open too long, so instead I would be forced to talk to him ("Hi, Michael!  Long time no s--"  "When are you cutting your hair?"  "I'm fine, m'self, I just gradua--"  "Your hair is still long; I thought you were going to shave it and dye it pink.  That's what you said.") - I can comfortably use Facebook chat like a normal yoomin bean.*

Anyway, RobinWords is this really fun word game where you start with a four-letter word, and then you and the computer take turns switching one letter in the word to make a new word.  So coin would become loin, and loin could become loon, for example.  Here is the conversation that my friend and I had while we both played:

Me:  Oh, no.  I will never get work done again.  But I will know all the four-letter words in the world!
Friend:  I'm on an epic run here.  Fens, mews.  Oh, yeah.
Me:  Nice.  The computer just said "Fart" and I had to stop for a while to giggle.
Friend:  HAHA thanks, I just used fart.
Me:  Well done.
(Witty banter, stimulating conversation)
Friend:  186 words and I beat the computer!
Me:  Awesome!  The game just told me that "poos" is not a real four-letter word.  I beg to differ.
Friend:  Hahahaha.  "Poos" is the present active indicative of "poo."  (Right?  You're the English major.)
Me:  Sure.  Totally.

This is the reason we are friends.  He has also been reading Pride and Prejudice, and he knows how to cook.  His New Year's Resolution was to wear white socks less often.  (Can Tracy pick 'em, or can she?**)

After playing a couple times, I decided to rename the game How Many Words to Fart? which is not very catchy but fairly self-explanatory.  My record so far is 53 (I have only played three times, and I didn't count the first time it happened).  Play it yourself, and you can leave a comment with your results if you want to, and whoever can get to fart in the fewest words wins!  If you make it so the computer says it instead of you, you win double!!  

*Betcha never thought you'd get to the end of that sentence, didja?
**Name that movie and I will come to your place of residence and give you an in-person hug.  Which is a big deal for me, because I don't really like to touch people.


In which Tracy gets her comeuppance.

Before today, I hadn't done my laundry for about a month, and I've had a library book gathering dust on my desk that was due in January.  Somehow, I can walk past the library every day on my way to and from class, but I can't take the time out to make a two-minute detour and hand the book to the nice person behind the desk. 

Anyway, it all came to a head this morning, when I woke up and couldn't find anything to wear that would keep me warm and wasn't dirty or else musty from sitting in a damp pile after being out in all the rain we've been having.  By the time I left, I had settled on black stockings under jean shorts, Keds with dried mud on them, and a pink sweatshirt that my friend Dan once told me was the color of a cartoon pig.  The stockings had runs in them, but I had no time to find something different to wear--so, that's how I ended up walking the campus looking like a ten-cent hooker.  From the 90s.

Not quite me, but close.
Vogue Nippon, Via Fashionising

Something had to be done.

After I had lunch with my friend Kelsey, she came with me to the library to offer moral support, where the young fellow behind the desk checked my records and said, "Whoa!  That's a lot of fines."  I left the building fifty bucks (!) poorer, but with a new sense of accomplishment.  I had survived the dreaded experience, and I could do more than that.  I walked the couple blocks to the drugstore still in my ratty stockings, where I stocked up on things like contact solution and glitter glue.  And socks, naturally.  I didn't even mind the looks I got from the townies as I passed.  When I reached my dorm, I got a call from the friend from California I've been meaning to get in touch with, and after we hung up, I packed up my mound of dirty laundry and hauled it down to the basement to wash it.  Then I leaned back in my chair to watch the episodes I'd missed of "The Office" and bask in my newfound feeling of distinct grown-uppishness.

I am capable!  I told myself smugly.  I have skills!  I don't have to wear ripped stockings every day (no-no-no-no-no)!

Now if I could only motivate myself to do some homework.